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Re: "Waqf" General Public License in Debian?

On Fri, Jul 02, 2010 at 12:21:51AM +0200, Christoph Anton Mitterer wrote:
> 2) How can the ftp-masters actually check whether this complies with the
> DFSG. As far as I can see from the English translation, it is not
> legally binding, and only the Arabic version is.
> I guess none of our ftp-masters can read this, but even if, end-users
> can not, so I guess people have not change in reading the license they
> agree to.
> I guess it's common sense that licenses should have a legally binding
> version in English, which is kind of the international language.

I believe there is precedent for this.  I remember seeing a program
under a license written entirely in Japanese.  When translated by a DD
fluent in Japanese, it was found to be a simple 3-clause BSD-style
license which is entirely acceptable.  Whether the ftpmasters are
comfortable with relying on an unofficial translation is entirely up to

> 3) The license contains many places which can be considered
> discriminatory, racist or fundamentalist.
> Apart from that... religious stuff shouldn't go into a license.

In general, I tend to agree that religion and law should be separate
(and licenses are, by their nature, legal documents).  However, I think
the major issue of the license is unrelated to religion.  It contains
restrictions on use, which by their nature are non-free.  Furthermore,
such restrictions are unenforcable under US copyright law, since first,
the actual use of a program is explicitly permitted by law and second,
use is not an exclusive right reserved to the copyright holder.
Copyright law may differ in other countries.


brian m. carlson / brian with sandals: Houston, Texas, US
+1 832 623 2791 | http://www.crustytoothpaste.net/~bmc | My opinion only
OpenPGP: RSA v4 4096b: 88AC E9B2 9196 305B A994 7552 F1BA 225C 0223 B187

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